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8 Years After Accepting Dems’ VP Bid on Gore Ticket, Lieberman Attacks Former Party at GOP Convention

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Senator Joseph Lieberman was given the headlining spot during the Republican National Convention on Tuesday. Lieberman, a close friend of McCain’s, dismissed Senator Barack Obama and urged Democrats to switch sides and support the McCain-Palin ticket in November. Former senator and GOP presidential hopeful, Fred Thompson, also spoke. [includes rush transcript]

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This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: Senator Joseph Lieberman, the former Democrat, was given the headlining spot during the Republican National Convention Tuesday. Lieberman, a close friend of McCain’s, dismissed Senator Barack Obama as a “gifted and eloquent young man.” The senator from Connecticut urged Democrats to switch sides and support the McCain-Palin ticket in November.

    SEN. JOSEPH LIEBERMAN: Senator Barack Obama is a gifted and eloquent young man who I think can do great things for our country in the years ahead. But, my friends, eloquence is no substitute for a record, not in these tough times for America.

    In the Senate, during the three-and-a-half years that Senator Obama has been a member, he has not reached across party lines to accomplish anything significant, nor has he been willing to take on powerful interest groups in the Democratic Party to get something done. And I just ask you to contrast that with John McCain’s record of independence and bipartisanship.

    But let me go one further, and this may make history here at this Republican convention. Let me contrast Barack Obama’s record to the record of the last Democratic president, Bill Clinton, who stood up to some of those same Democratic interest groups, worked with Republicans and got some important things done, like welfare reform, free trade agreements and a balanced budget.

    Now, I’m honored to say just a word about the great lady that John McCain has selected as his running mate. Governor Palin, like John McCain, is a reformer. She’s taken on the special interests and the political powerbrokers in Alaska and reached across party lines to get things done. The truth is, she is a leader we can count on to help John shake up Washington. That’s why — that’s why I sincerely believe that the real ticket for change this year is the McCain-Palin ticket. Let me tell you, friends, that the Washington bureaucrats and the powerbrokers are not going to be able to build a pen that will hold in these two mavericks. It’s just not possible. Together, I think we can count on John and Sarah to fight for America and to fight for you, the American people, and that’s what our country needs most right now.

    We all know that these are tough times here at home, and we have dangerous enemies in the world. And what America needs now, frankly, is not more party unity. What we need now is more national unity. And this is especially true, of course, because we are a nation at war. We need a president we can count on to fight for what’s right for our country, not only when it’s easy, but when it’s hard.

    And I was there, so I can tell you. When others were silent about the war in Iraq, John McCain had the guts and the judgment to sound the alarm about the mistakes we were making in Iraq. You know, when others wanted to retreat in defeat from the field of battle, which would have been a disaster for the USA, when colleagues like Barack Obama were voting to cut off funding for our American troops on the battlefield, John McCain had the courage to stand against the tide of public opinion, advocate the surge, support the surge, and because of that, today, America’s troops are coming home, thousands of them, and they’re coming home in honor.

AMY GOODMAN: Independent Senator Joe Lieberman addressing the Republican National Convention here in St. Paul. Well, former senator and former presidential candidate Fred Thompson also spoke Tuesday night at the RNC. He praised John McCain’s selection of Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin to be his running mate. Palin is scheduled to speak tonight at the Republican National Convention.

    FRED THOMPSON: Speaking of the vice-presidential nominee, what a breath of fresh air Governor Sarah Palin is! She’s from a small town with small-town values. But apparently, that’s not good enough for some of the folks who are out there now attacking her and her family. Some Washington pundits and media big shots are in a frenzy over the selection of a woman who has actually governed rather than just talked a good game on the Sunday talk shows and hit the Washington cocktail circuit. I say give me a tough Alaskan governor who’s taken on the political establishment in the largest state of the union, and won, over the Beltway business-as-usual crowd any day of the week.

    But it’s pretty clear the selection of Governor Palin has got the other side and their friends in the media in a state of panic. And no wonder. She is a courageous, successful reformer who’s not afraid to take on the establishment. Sound like anybody else we know? She has run a municipality, and she’s run a state. And I think I can say, without fear of contradiction, she’s the only nominee in the history of either party who knows how to properly field dress a moose — with the possible exception of Teddy Roosevelt. OK. When she and John McCain get to Washington, they’re not going to care how much the alligators get irritated. They’re going to drain that swamp.

AMY GOODMAN: Former senator and former presidential candidate Fred Thompson addressing the Republican National Convention. Yes, the vice-presidential nominee, Palin, will address the convention tonight.

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